Once, while visiting, this princess came bounding into the house.
As Todd caught her eye he asked, “Do you want to go for a boat ride?” She stopped in her tracks and held up three fingers, “I must get three consequences, eat lunch and then I can go for a boat ride.”
This is how a child that has been brought up with consistent cause and effect type parenting acts. She knows the routine and relays it as the facts; no need for fussing or drama. As a matter of fact, her declaration of needing three consequences was in the same sing song voice as going for a boat ride.
Now to say she was looking forward to the consequences would be
going too far. Yet, she was not begrudging them or dreading them either. I have said it before and will say it again; the hardest thing for a child to deal with is inconsistency. When the same thing happens as a result of disobedience, every time, it becomes a part of life for the child. I would even go so far as to say it becomes a comfort for them.
Now, I realize “every time” can be intimidating. When I heard
other parents say “every time” to us as we dealt with toddlers, it felt defeating. Yet, I use the phrase knowing we will at times miss things, but to spur parents on to NOT overlook or pretend they don’t notice a child misbehaving. Let “every time” be what God uses to spark you into motion.